Plantar Fasciitis HURTS | Average Hiker
I’ve always listened to others complain about plantar fasciitis, but never paid it much attention. The official SIMPLE description – “It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).” My feet have always hurt when I hiked. I expect it on every hike and have yet to be disappointed. The issue now is that my left foot hurts worse than it ever did on a hike.
My left foot began hurting about 4 months ago, so I did what many people now do in these situations – I googled it. It appeared that all symptoms led to plantar fasciitis. I ignored it at first, thinking it would heal, and then it began to not only burn, but swell up after I exercised. I became worried.
So, this time I googled “home remedies,” and have now tried everything below.
- Protalus Inserts – I researched inserts, and settled on those made by Protalus. They fit my shoes perfectly, and are comfortable, but have done nothing to help the pain.
- Ice – I ice my arch and heel twice a day
- Ibuprofen – My vitamin of choice while hiking, and now while not hiking. It helps reduce the inflammation and pain. I only take it when needing to hide my limp from concerned eyes at home.
- Nexcare Tape – The one thing that has helped some while I walk has been wrapping my arch. Still though, there has been no improvement.
- Weight – I gained 40 pounds after my last hike. I love food. I’ve put myself on a diet, and have lost about 6 pounds over the last 3 weeks. I need to lose at least 20 more before I leave in a couple of months. I am so hungry, but determined!
- Hoka sandals – I wish I had found these months ago. They are far more supportive than my inserts, and I have no pain when I walk in them.
I still have the plantar, and I don’t think it is getting worse. I also don’t think it is getting better. On the bright side though, all these self help attempts have resulted in a couple of wins. I’m in love with Hoka, and I wish I had discovered Nexcare Tape YEARS ago!
I found the Hoka sandals because I tried the Hoka running shoes. I was a little skeptical of the shoes at first, and I had recently made fun of their thick platform shoe appearance. I am happy to say now that I was wrong, and should not have judged the poor little shoes based on how they looked. They are SO comfortable. I’m even going to give the Hoka trail runners a try on my Colorado trail hike in August. I’m a little nervous about being so high up, since I’m already so tall, and my balance is already questionable, but we will see how it goes.
Another winner, that has shone through this whole plantar mess – NEXCARE TAPE. Has this stuff been around for the past 20 years?! I’ve used band-aids, bandages, moleskin, and to hold all those on, the god of tape – DUCT TAPE. There is very little that duct tape cannot fix. This Nexcare though, it will have a place of distinction in my backpack – just below duct tape. It is supple and wraps easily around my odd foot angles. It also has elasticity that allows it to bend while I’m moving. Best of all, it does not slide off when my foot is sweaty or wet. I took a shower with it, and it did not even loosen up! Amazing.
So, I’ve got to lose weight and keep working out. The next hike is in just seven weeks, and I’m not going to NOT hike. All opinions, suggestions, and gentle chiding is welcome. I have to keep working out, and healing at the same time, and the two don’t always go hand in hand, so all assistance is welcome!